President Barack Obama on Saturday sent a message to Kenya’s new leader, Uhuru Kenyatta, congratulating him on his political victory over his presidential opponents in Kenya’s heavily contested election, according to the White House. However, violence intensified after Kenya’s highest court ruled in Kenyatta’s favor.
“On behalf of the President and the people of the United States, we congratulate Uhuru Kenyatta on his election as president of Kenya. We also congratulate the people of Kenya on the peaceful conduct of the election and commend Raila Odinga for accepting the Supreme Court’s decision,” the Obama White House said in a press statement.
Obama’s message also called on the Kenyan people to peacefully accept the results of the election despite past differences.
Kenya’s Supreme Court on Saturday upheld Kenyatta as the duly elected president of Kenya after reaching an unanimous decision that the March 4 elections were fair and honest.
The court’s decision was announced after Kenyatta’s rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, filed a petition at the Court disputing Kenyatta’s victory.
According to the court decision, Kenyatta won 50.07 percent of the votes, while Odinga won only 43.4 percent of the ballots.
“We urge all Kenyans to peacefully accept the results of the election. The electoral process and the peaceful adjudication of disputes in the Kenyan legal system are testaments to the progress Kenya has made in strengthening its democratic institutions, and the desire of the Kenyan people to move their country forward,” said Obama’s White House statement.
At least four people left dead in the streets following a demonstration turned violent in Kenya’s city of Kisumu late on Saturday. The protest began following the news that the supreme court upheld the victory of Uhuru Kenyatta, according to the local news media.
The demonstration degenerated into an intense battle with Kenyan police officers, as members of the mob threw rocks and used makeshift weapons against the police.
The demonstrators also stoned motorists smashed car windows, and barricaded roads with debris and large bonfires. Trouble had started after the police tried to stop the demonstrators from barricading the road and destroying public and private property.
Personal loss for Obama family
Malik Obama– President Obama’s elder half-brother — suffered a crushing blow to his political career when he lost in his first political race for governor of Siaya County, Kenya, during that African country’s national election cycle, according to a law enforcement source in Israel. Malik, 54, ran as an independent candidate for the governorship, according to Israeli law enforcement agent Jake Kellerman.
Malik – a practicing Muslim – is also facing criminal charges that he severely beat his wife and that he also seduced 17-year-old Sheila Anyango and made her his 12th wife even though under Kenyan law she was under the age of consent, said Kellerman who once served as a U.S. police officer.
Sheila told the Muslim Times that “marrying him [three years ago] has been the biggest mistake of my life. He beats me, but mostly he’s just nasty and quarrelsome.”